Paramount Theater

541 Washington Avenue,
Greenville, MS 38701

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The People’s Theater was built in 1919. Later renamed Paramount Theater, it was demolished in 1971.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 21, 2007 at 2:37 pm

There is an interior photo of the Paramount on this page:
http://tinyurl.com/2mavgn

HaroldH
HaroldH on November 9, 2007 at 6:42 pm

The Paramount had a presemmion (sp) with a full size painting of “Stradford on Avon” on it. The theater had the main floor as well as two balconies with box seats on each side in the balconies. The stage was built for Broadway type productions, complete with theater organ and depressed orchestra pit. The exterior of the theater was the equivalent of five stories high in the fly area.

There are pictures of the Paramount main floor and pictures of the exterior of the Lake Theater at > http://tinyurl.com/2mavgn <. The Lake was a much smaller theater with no stage. The screen was mounted on the wall or just in front of wall.

HaroldH

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Here is part of a 3/7/60 article from the Greenville Delta Democrat-Times:

A 10-year old girl was reported injured in a fire scare at the Paramount Theater Sunday afternoon that sent a big crowd scampering to the exits. The child came to the manager of the theater with her father who said she had come home crying from the theater and said something had fallen on her. Apparently she was not seriously injured, police said.

The fire scare occurred shortly before 4 p.m. during the showing of a cartoon. The feature picture, “A Dog of Flanders”, had just finished its first showing. The crowd, hundreds of them children, suddenly heard a swishing noise they thought was fire. Men, women and children raced toward the closest exit on the side and the main entrance of the theater and the floors were opened.

Manager A.E. Nestler of the theater and a police officer readied the stage of the theater. From there he pleaded with them. “There’s nothing wrong”, he said to the hurriedly departing group. They heeded his pleas and moved slowly back to their seats.

The fire scare started when someone knocked a fire extinguisher off a stand on the second floor balcony of the theater. It spewed and the crowd left the theater hurriedly. After order was restored by the manager and his staff of ushers and police, manager Nestler and ushers began receiving reports of articles that had been lefl behind. One father said his daughter left her coat and purse in the theater and “took off”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 28, 2011 at 6:43 am

The records of New Orleans architects Edward B. Silverstein and Associates and its predecessor firms, held by the Southeastern Architectural Archive, at Tulane University, include 13 sheets for the People’s Theatre at Greenville. They are dated 1919, and attribute the design to architect J. Rice Scott.

kirkorgan
kirkorgan on May 2, 2014 at 12:04 am

Memories… Greenville about 1958, on weekends from college, the management would allow me to play the organ prior to a film. Problem was… never knew if it would play!

Finally, we found the problem, the generator wasn’t generating! My college room mate (James H. Wilkes) and I persuaded the management to fork over about $200 to rebuild the generator which ran off a belt from the blower motor.

The Robert Morton was a 2/4 installed on one side of the theatre. Not much of an organ, but it was a sweet sound and, not having been heard for years and years the audiences might have well thought it was a 4/36.

That summer, I spent many a weekend playing pre-shows and intermissions. I was beginning to breath the sound of pipes! Unless you were in the balcony, the “little” console was unseen by most. SO,Jimmy and I went around the corner to the Delta Democrat Times and “borrowed” I don’t know HOW many Coca Cola (bottles) cases. We took them to the theatre and after MUCH effort we had the console pretty much in view of the main floor.

Not many attended the regular films shown, but there was a new release with Randolph Scott. The Paramount managed to get the premiere release and the management asked me to play the organ prior to the first run showing. That little 2/4 S H I N E D and the audience STOOD to applaud the “little organ that could.”

Terry Charles
www.kirkorgan.com

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